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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND BALASANA (CHILD POSE)    ( 4 ) 

Balasana Session 4 Image
N.B. Those with high blood pressure should avoid versions of child pose that take the head lower than level with the heart.
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs straight along the floor and together. Have a sense of length along the back of your legs so that your toes point upwards and tone your lower abdomen. Slide your legs apart (while still resting on the floor). Moving the legs as whole (i.e. at the hip joints) as you inhale, rotate the legs outwards about the axis of the legs (so the feet end up pointing outwards) and, exhaling, rotate the legs inwards about the axis of the legs (so feet end up pointing inwards). Continue for several breaths; then slide the legs together and the heels to your buttocks. Bring your knees to your chest and then roll on to your side and from there come into the all fours position.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From the all fours position, bring your feet together and then “walk” your knees apart (keeping the toes of your feet together) – take your knees as far apart as they will comfortably go. Lower your hips backwards towards your heels and let your elbows lower to the floor. Observe how your inside thighs feel – if you are feeling a significant stretch at this stage then lift back into all fours and bring your knees slightly closer together before re-lowering your hips. When you are ready, lower your chest and head, by “walking” your elbows apart so that the shoulders, and elbows are in the same vertical plane. Turn your head to one side and bring the ear (or side of head to the floor) – your forearms are still pointing away from your feet. (If you need to for comfort, place padding under both head and chest). Rest and relax for about 3 breaths with a sense of both resting on and hugging and receiving nurturing from the huge massive earth. And with each exhalation, have a feeling of being able to allow the chest to settle a little lower, closer to the earth (elbows might move apart slightly more). Then lift head and upper trunk sufficiently to turn the head to the other side and lower the other ear to the earth – again rest and relax for about 3 breaths. Then lift back into the all fours position and bring your knees together.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie, on your back with your legs together and stretched out along the floor; have your arms resting on the floor beside you with your palms facing downwards. Then cross one leg over the other at the ankle. Inhaling, lift the arm of the same side as the top leg (i.e. the one you have just crossed over the other) through the air to the floor above your head (or as close the floor as feels comfortable). Exhaling, lift the arm through the air to the floor by your side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times then uncross your legs. Repeat to the other side.

FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method. You could try the following as a relaxation. Imagine there is a ball of nurturing energy in your lower abdomen, soft and fuzzy as though it would feel wonderfully satisfying to hug and pleasurable to touch. Imagine a colour and a gentle warmth. Imagine the ball of nurturing energy is gently radiating nurturing energy to all parts of your being – down your legs and into your feet, into your trunk and all parts of your spine, down your arms and into your hands, and into your neck and head. Feel the gentleness of this nurturing energy and also its peacefulness – enjoy. After a while bring your awareness back to the ball of nurturing energy – still full and still gently radiating – a constant source of support and comfort. Remember not to rush sitting up and standing after practising relaxation as it causes the blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.